The future Iantha Branch

Discussion in 'General' started by Iantha_Branch, Jun 29, 2022.

  1. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    A powered chair would make a pace video recording a whole new thing HHMM.
  2. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett Member

    Wheelchairs can turn on a dime, shouldn't have any problems with it. When I had the power wheelchair I would pace the chair with the trains and it was really cool running.

  3. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    I'm getting closer to being ready to share some track plans with the group for feedback.

    In the meantime, I do have another item I would like feedback on. All of my plans feature some combination of walls in the middle of the room to support bench work. The two options I have at this time:

    Build the walls floor to ceiling so that the layout is sectioned off. I think this gives better spacing to the different elements of the layout, and adds to the illusion that you're at a specific location.

    The alternate idea is to build the walls to layout height, plus a little extra for a backdrop behind it. This would allow for everyone to see out the south windows as the real trains went past no matter where you're at in the layout. The drawback to this idea is it essentially creates on giant open room that would feel real busy during a full op session.
  4. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

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  5. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    I would agree with Keith. You will get better air circulation for sure, in addition to the view you describe.

    -Bob T.
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  6. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    Seeing the pictures you posted in that thread jogged my memory to ask about this. Gotta credit my wife for pitching this idea to me a few weeks ago.
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  7. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    Another concept I've thrown around some is a double level layout. I have a couple plans drawn up that involve a second level to allow for more destinations on the layout that aren't just hidden staging yards. None of these designs involve using a helix to move between levels, instead they all use linear inclines. For the most part, they are designed to have most of the operating take place on the lower level where operators can be seated for comfort, while the top level is mostly scenic.

    The question is, is it a good idea? Anyone have feedback on a double level layout?
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  8. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Double levels are not an absolute no no. The upper level has to have enough vertical separation from the lower level - minimum of 18". Locations where some switching work might be done up there should not be located where the lower level benchwork has the same type of activity going on, and the lower benchwork should be narrower at that point. The width of most of the upper level needs only to be wide enough for single or double track and minimal 3D scenery (take a look at what John Peluso has done - excellently executed).
    An additional note regarding track-lines; try to avoid running parallel to the fascia or backdrop when possible, unless the backdrop or fascia curves as well - railroads curve through the countryside.
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  9. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    This from one that has built two of them over the decades:

    Consider a dual level an evil necessity for those of us that are spatially handicapped yet want enough main line run to be worthwhile. (Or for those that simply want to maximize their main line length in order to cater to their tastes for over-the-road running, TT&TO, etc.)

    Also, consider that two levels can double the cost and labor for your pike at those locations.

    Dual levels really require a LOT of forethought and planning, or you can "paint yourself into a corner", such as having a devil of a time attending to something on the lower level you overlooked. (Don't ask.)

    Dual level isn't too bad for solo operation, but it can get congested with another operator or two.

    Just be aware of the pros/cons and weigh them against what you want your layout to do for you.

    For me personally, IF I had the type of space you're talking, I would avoid incorporating dual levels. However, what's best for you will depend on your skills and abilities as a layout designer and builder, as well as your all important "Givens n' Druthers" for your layout.

    As always, good luck whatever you decide!
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  10. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    I forgot to specify that I am looking at a height of 24" between levels. I tried 18" of separation with the double level layout last year, and it was workable, but a little low, especially for tall buildings like grain elevators.

    For those that might ask, yes I did try a double level layout and ended up not staying with it. The failures of that design were mostly due to the poor job I did of assembling the helix. I learned quite a bit from that experience though, and I can use that knowledge potentially in the future, hence why I now know that I want 24" of height instead of 18" and no helix.

    I need to work over my plans a bit more before I share them, but for the most part I kept the space needed pretty narrow, and tried not to overlap operating areas. One of my designed has St. Louis right over the top of Tulsa, so I need to fix that.

    One other thing I will mention, is the plans I've made can be built in phases. I can build the main level first and see how it goes. I left space to have the staging yards on the main level to start with. If I decide to build the second level, it can be tacked on at a later date, and the staging yards moved up at that point.

    Again, thank you everyone for the continued feedback. I really appreciate it.
  11. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    I've been behind with work, so I've been behind with layout planning. I do finally have one plan that I'm ready to share. It's definitely not finished. My intention is to get the big picture drawn up, and when I finally decide on a design I'll go back and work out all the little details like scenery.

    The floor plan for this layout is a little different from how I normally design things. Instead of it being linear from one side of the room to the other, it's essentially like a giant U (or maybe a W), where it goes around the room until it returns back to the same corner of the room, just across the isle.

    This particular layout models the KC and Ash Grove subs in 1980, and includes hidden staging for Tulsa, and Memphis/St. Louis. Both 19th street and Rosedale yards in KC are represented. There is a staging yard for all of the interchanging roads underneath 19th that comes directly out to Rosedale. Coming out of KC, There is plenty of industrial switching to do in Merriam and Lenexa. At Paola, there is an interchange with the MP to service the Co-Op there. MKT trains can exit to a hidden staging track behind Paola. There isn't a spot for Glen park yard on this layout, so MKT traffic will have a spot in one of the long staging tracks under 19th St. There's a small stop to make at La Cygne before entering the yard at Ft. Scott. The yard there includes 2 full length holding tracks and enough yard tracks to sort traffic bound for any destination on the layout, as well as serve the industries in town. Leaving Ft. Scott, the back track goes to Tulsa staging, which is located under the main level. Above that, before the main line ascends, there is a very compressed version of Arcadia and the Mackie Clemons coal mine that was located just south of there at Mertz. This mine can be a source of coal traffic for the layout. From there, we have a passing siding, and just enough room to fit in the small farming community of Iantha, which features one of the iconic green MFA fertilizer plants. Around the corner is the town of Lamar, plenty of switching to do there. Next, is the combination of South Greenfield and Greenfield. Similar to the prototype, the main line has a pair of sidings for the local to work off of as it takes cars up and down the hill to Pennington Seed. As the main line comes down from South Greenfield, it is rejoined by the track coming out from Tulsa staging to create Nichols Junction. From there we have a compressed version of Kansas Ave Yard in Springfield, and two different switching areas outside of the yard. One is a representation of North yard with the Auto and TOFC ramps, the other is a mock up of the Phelps Ave zone. Finally, the double mains curve around to a hidden staging area for Memphis and St. Louis.

    I know there is a lot there to take in, but any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

    Attached Files:

  12. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    Whoa! That’s quite a layout. What is the grid size? 1-ft?
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  13. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    Whoops. Yes, grid size is 1 ft. Total space is 40' by 60', which corresponds with the giant empty space in the building plan.
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  14. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    Since I drew up this plan that has the hidden transfer yard, I've been thinking I need to mock up some sort of trial for that in my current building before I commit to a plan with it.
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  15. gstout

    gstout Member Supporter

    Should keep you busy for a while.

  16. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett Member

    Ethan, your layout plans are huge! Noticed it was titled 40x60 Hallway, if that's the hall how big are the rooms. Haha.

    Looking forward to seeing it come together.

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  17. patrick flory

    patrick flory Member

    Whatever God-In-Milwaukee or at the NMRA pontificated, decreed, and dictated that layouts are to be 54” high is out of his freaking mind. Or 18 years old.

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